As the weather shifts outside, it will soon be time to stop lawn mowing for the fall. While there’s not one set date when to stop mowing, there are some rules of thumb and tips to consider. Once you can recognize these signs, you’ll know it’s time to park the mower for the season.
When to stop lawn mowing.
To start, when to stop lawn mowing is rooted in your location and the weather where you live. If you live in warm weather, you can keep mowing throughout the year. But for those in the parts of the country where the temps cool, you’ll be parking the mower for at least a few months.
As outlined in the infographic above as temperatures cool you’ll want to mow less frequently and cut the grass a little shorter than summer length, but not too short. For cool weather grasses such as fescue the range is somewhere between 1.5-2.5 inches tall. This prepares the lawn for winter by reducing its exposure above ground and encouraging the active root growth that takes place in cooler temperatures. You can leave the clippings on the ground for the last few cuts.
Fall is a good time to fertilize & aerate.
As you transition your cutting height to the lower end of your cut height window, you might also want to consider fertilizing your lawn. This supports active root growth that’s taking place and fortifies your lawn so it stays healthy through the winter and greens up again quickly next spring. Also consider aeration in the fall as this helps reduce soil compaction and encourages root growth of cool-season turf types. Of course, early fall is also a good time to perform dethatching on cool-season grasses.
Keep mowing in the fall until the grass stops growing. Studies show that this usually happens when temps dip below about 50 degrees F for roughly 10 days. Once that happens, it’s time to stop mowing the lawn for the season. Park the mower and grab that fishing rod or those skis and enjoy your winter months off from lawn patrol.